How phytoplasmas generate witches' brooms and attract insect vectors


Functional genomics of how insects manipulate plants

Aphids are sap-feeding insects of the order Hemiptera and are among the most destructive pests in agriculture, particularly in temperate regions.

More than 4000 aphid species in 10 families are known.

Aphids possess mouthparts composed of stylets that navigate to the plant vascular system, predominantly the phloem, for long-term feeding.

The saliva of aphids and other insect herbivores contain virulence proteins (effectors) that modulate plant processes to the benefit of these insects.

We developed functional genomics resources for hemipteran insects, predominantly the green peach aphid Myzus persicae, to understand how aphid effectors and their targets will lead to the development of novel pest resistance strategies.

A: Aphids secrete virulence effectors in their saliva that modulate plant responses

B: Scanning micrograph of an aphid

C: Pea aphid giving birth.